Coping with stressors in soccer: A survey of strategies used by coaches in Gauteng province, South Africa

  • Lesego Phetlhe
  • Heather Morris-Eyton
  • Alliance Kubayi
Keywords: Coping, soccer, stress, coaching


Despite a substantial body of literature examining sources of stress among soccer coaches in South Africa, little is known about how coaches cope with stressors. This study examined the adaptation strategies used to deal with stressors by soccer coaches in Gauteng Province, South Africa. A quantitative approach was adopted in which 150 soccer coaches completed the Coping Function Questionnaire (CFQ). Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Overall, the results showed that soccer coaches mostly used a problem-focused (M = 3.85, SD = 1.22) coping strategy, followed by emotion-focused (M = 3.73, SD = 1.21) and avoidance-focused (M = 3.10, SD = 1.46) strategies. Female coaches had a greater tendency than their male counterparts to apply more problem-focused (M = 3.88, SD = 1.30) and emotion-focused (M = 3.82, SD = 1.23) coping styles. Findings also indicated that the application of all three coping strategies consistently decreased with age among the coaches. Soccer coach education programmes should include foci on stress and coping strategies to help coaches effectively manage stressors, thereby improving their jobrelated performance and overall quality of life.

Keywords: Coping, soccer, stress, coaching


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eISSN: 1117-4315